Songs of the Great Lakes
There are so many stories to be heard along the Great Lakes. I'm privileged to tell you a few of them. The museum ship Col. James M. Schoonmaker (Willis B. Boyer)in Toledo, OH was launched in 1911 and sailed the Great Lakes for 69 years. It is well worth visiting. The Woman of the Bright Foam comes from a story found in Anna Jameson's Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada. The Bell of the Bradley was inspired by the 2008 memorial ceremony when the recovered bell of the Carl D. Bradley was rung for the first time in 50 years in Rogers City, Michigan, honoring the sailors lost on her on November 18, 1958. Captain Rogers tells the story of George C. Rogers, a Great Lakes captain who lived in my old stomping grounds of Lapeer, Michigan. The Light at the South Haven Pier is a song about one of the most romantic spots on the Great Lakes, the South Haven (MI) Lighthouse pier at sunset. This is one of the few non-historical songs I've written. The Toledo Express is a celebration of the most famous laker of all, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. A friend asked me to write a song about the SS South American. She said her parents once sailed on the famous excursion boat. It wasn't until I played the song for her that I learned that her parents were one of the "couples in love" who strolled the decks. They met and fell in love on the South American. The L.R. Doty is my musical toast to the crew of the lost steamship that was found in Lake Michigan in 2010. Baseball is a big part of life along the Great Lakes, with major teams in Chicago, Cleveland, and Toledo. The Indians' Great Season, about the 1948 Cleveland Indians, was a natural for me, a big baseball fan. The Round Island Light, the featured lighthouse of the 2010 Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, is one of my favorites. The Railroad Engineer is a song about my grandfather. I wish I'd gotten to know him better.